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NATIONAL CITY Leadership changes at area's No. 1 bank



Published: Sat, July 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The bank's new local president is heavily involved in a variety of Valley community groups.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A familiar face at National City will take over as the bank's area president, effective Sept. 1, but the way the bank does business will remain the same.

Garry L. Mrozek of Poland, the bank's head of corporate banking for the Northeast Region since 2001, will replace Thomas R. Hollern of Canfield. Mrozek also will maintain his corporate banking position.

Hollern served 12 years as area president of the bank's Eastern Sector-Northeast Region, which includes 22 bank branches in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties, among other nearby counties in Ohio and West Virginia. The Eastern Sector-Northeast Region's headquarters is at the bank's downtown Youngstown office.

National City is the No. 1 corporate bank in Mahoning and Trumbull counties with about 40 percent of the market, Mrozek said.

Local pride

The bank prides itself on the service it provides to Mahoning Valley residents, and officials feel it's important for the institution to have a strong presence in Youngstown, Hollern and Mrozek said.

"We've tried to retain business in Youngstown rather than desert it for the suburbs like some of our competitors," Hollern said. "We have a commitment to the city of Youngstown. We have an obligation to reinvest in the community. We will continue to maintain a major presence in Youngstown."

"We recognize the importance of the Mahoning Valley, and particularly Youngstown," Mrozek added.

National City's three main product lines are corporate banking, retailing banking at its branches, and large private accounts/trusts.

Hollern has spent 38 years in the banking industry, including 23 with National City and the Dollar Savings and Trust Co., a National City predecessor.

Hollern said much has changed in the banking industry since he started in 1967 with the then-First National Bank of Meadville.

At the top of the list is the increased use of technology, including automated teller machines, online banking and direct deposit, he said.

Also, mergers have changed the banking industry, Hollern said.

However, even with mergers and technology, National City still prides itself on its customer service and low employee turnover, he said.

"One of the things I'm most proud of is at National City we've consistently shown the same faces to our customer base," Hollern said. "That gives me a great sense of pride. Customer service drives our business."

Mrozek joined Potters Bank and Trust in East Liverpool, a predecessor of National City, in 1992 as executive vice president. He was named manager of corporate banking for National City in 1994, and head of corporate banking for the Northeast Region in 2001.

Tim Fitzwater, National City Northeast Region's president and chief executive officer, praised Mrozek as a "seasoned leader whose solid banking knowledge, deep commitment to customers and strong ties to this region will enable National City to continue the extraordinary growth and deep community commitment that was the hallmark of Tom Hollern's tenure."

Community involvement

Employees at National City are strongly encouraged to get involved in the community, with Mrozek and Hollern setting the examples.

Mrozek is chairman of the Youngstown Business Incubator's board of directors and executive committee; a past chairman of the Youngstown-Mahoning Valley United Way; a member of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber's board of directors; and board member of the Youngstown YMCA, Western Reserve Health Care System and Western Reserve Health Foundation.

Hollern served as chairman of the Mahoning Valley Sports Charities that raised $4.2 million in 12 years for area charities. He is also a member of numerous boards including the chamber, Forum Health, Youngstown Foundation, Western Reserve Health Foundation and the Youngstown-Mahoning Valley United Way.

Hollern said he will cut back his volunteerism somewhat during retirement, but plans to remain actively involved in a number of nonprofit groups and other organizations.

"An important aspect of National City's philosophy is to encourage our employees to play a role in the communities we serve," he said.




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